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We partnered with SocialInsider to analyse a total of 62,895 business profiles, over 100,000 posts, to discover which posts work best for your brand or business.
It's been another year of innovation at Instagram, and they've done a great job of coming up with new features and posting types to keep their users hooked, spending hours on images, carousels, stories, IGTV and now, Reels. Brands must adapt to these changes, or miss riding the engagement wave that usually follows. Diversity in post types on Instagram means you either need to create more content, diversify the types of content you're putting out there, or do both. It's difficult for a brand or business to know which is the best strategy, and how to allot resources, so we did the work for you.In this study, we've partnered with the social media analytics gurus at SocialInsider. We’ve analysed Instagram post type, engagement and other data for 2019 and 2020 to discover what the latest trends are - and how Instagram has changed, given the changes in the world in 2020. Let’s get started! 👇
We analysed a total of 62,895 business profiles, segmented as follows:
To give you a baseline, the average engagement rate per post (by followers) for Instagram across all types of posts is 2.02%.At the beginning of 2019, the marketing trends indicated Instagram’s engagement would reverse course from - and reviewing the data, it was right! Starting from a position of 2% average engagement rate for carousels posts, it reached a maximum of 3.0% in July 2020, thanks to videos, and eventually, changed direction again, with carousels, going down to 1.6%.Of course, we’re talking about the peak values, which may differ depending on the type of content. In following the overall trends for 2020, carousel posts were the primary engagement driver for the first part of the year. In March, that swapped to video and stayed that way until November, when it swapped back to carousels. So why the change? Ready to find out how this trend could impact your marketing strategy? Do you need to focus more on social videos or carousels - and what are other brands doing? Pop a bag of popcorn and get comfy, we're only just getting to the good part.As the world changed in February 2020, engagement spiked well above the consistent 2.02% that had been the norm for more than a year. But it didn’t last that long until the engagement rate returned to a steady floating level.
One of the questions that’s on every brand’s minds is what type of content should they post to increase Instagram engagement. There’s no one, single recipe for choosing the right type of content. There are plenty of other variables that need to be considered when creating a content strategy. Have you ever thought about whether profile size impacts engagement - or what type of content your audience engage with? As you look at the size of your account, and your growth trends - consider this:
We’ve heard a lot of discussions regarding the caption length’s influence over engagement. But many of those arguments are emotional. Reasons like: creating a good story for the customers and connecting deeper on an emotional level with the brand.Looking purely at the numbers, we found a different story:According to our data, captions up to 10 words are the ones that bring the most engagement, especially when combined with a carousel. When using more than 10 words on a carousel post, engagement takes a nosedive to about 0.70%.For video, a 3x longer caption length produces the best engagement results. If you're a brand with over 10,000 followers, you should aim for around 30 words or slightly more, to promote engagement.
Have you ever heard of the rule of 7 in marketing? Simply put, your consumers need, on average, 7 interactions with your brand before making a purchase decision.Which leads us to our metric, engagement per impressions rate. Or, in other words, the engagement per view. Most people don't engage with the same post twice - but there's still some value into digging into this metric.Overall, it appears there were higher values for the engagement rate per impressions in 2020, especially for carousels posts. This can uncover one of Instagram's strategies, pushing forward this type of content into the user's feeds.So, if you are wondering what posts to boost on Instagram, consider using carousels.For example, accounts under 5K followers have a significant engagement rate per impressions of 8.01% for the carousel postings.
When objectively looking at likes per post, we’re using the median as our primary metric. We’ve already seen the battle between videos and carousels for winning your audience’s attention, but when it comes to likes, carousels win this round.Don't put your video editor away just yet, video still has some advantages. As we can see, from the smallest to the highest, the median number of likes per post reaches the greatest values for carousels, regardless of the account’s size.Surprisingly, it's followed by images, which got second place, and this hierarchy is kept the same regardless of the profile size.When reviewing Instagram for small business, the number of likes per post is really low - and the best ones have more than 100k followers. This makes sense, as bigger accounts tend to have budgets to put marketing dollars behind their organic efforts.
Now that we’ve seen how things are going with likes, it’s time for the next level. ‘Cuz as a brand, there are so many other things you’re interested in, besides likes.Impressing the audience enough to like your post is good, but making them comment is even better. Since this requires a stronger connection between brand and users, and a certain level of loyalty from their side, the median number of comments will show a much lower value than the one of likes.Here’s an interesting point regarding the median number of comments per post type: it has many waves when paired with account sizes. Which can only mean that you must plan your content based on what you want to achieve.Let’s break it down a bit.
If your goal is to build strong, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with your audience, conversations are key.
In case you didn’t pay much attention to this type of insight so far, as a social media manager, you should start doing it.This is also one of your consumer’s ways of telling you what they want and expect.If you thought the other insights our data revealed were interesting, we’re glad, but wait till you see these discoveries. Starting primarily with images, which initially gave its status of a visually-oriented platform, Instagram has long evolved over the years. Once again, it seems small accounts, under 5K, get along better with carousels.Up until 500K followers, there’s a tie between video and carousel. But after that, the situation starts on taking quite a turn. When we’re talking about profiles between 50K - 100K, the carousel is the one that’s winning people’s hearts, making them press that save button more often, followed by images. Applause, please! 'Cuz images make quite a comeback if we look at the big profiles. This time big profiles over 100K break the pattern and prioritize images when it comes to content saved, though videos and carousels are not that far, having close positions one to another.Now, after all this data, we bet you’re wondering what type of content you should post in the end. We’ve said it before, and we say it again - it all comes down to your business objectives and what you wish your customers to do. Once this is established, finding the right strategy to deliver your messages to your audience is the next big step. If you need some help, you can check some examples of social media campaigns that rocked the digital landscape and some tips on starting your own.
For you to have the full picture (which means the whole data) when it comes to creating your Instagram strategy, we give you a couple of more metrics and numbers that may come in handy.Nowadays, many customers are interacting with brands through stories, since they are more interactive. Not to mention the do-not-miss-this-moment feeling, by being available for just 24 hours, making posts in feed lose their appeal, therefore causing the engagement to decrease. Well, that’s a perfectly good explanation of why the story’s reach rate is higher than the one of the posts in the feed. But let’s go over the numbers, shall we?Our study has revealed the average reach rate on Instagram, carousels win first place across all profile sizes.Although every account’s goal is to grow, as a social media manager, you should know there are also some benefits of being a small account. As expected, profiles under 5K have the highest reach rate, and carousels have twice the potential of video for them.But this time, accounts between 50K - 100K are the ones that caught our attention, with quite a high value for carousels. Although there’s a significant difference between the two types of posts, images are the ones on which larger profiles can count on as a second option.
Throughout this study, we’ve seen each type of post has its advantages and possible gains for your business. Only pairing the right objectives with your desired actions will get you where you want.But remember, your social media strategy should always build your social media strategy on your past experience as well.Although Instagram engagement works in mysterious ways, this set of data should give you a strategic direction when you start planning. What’s your ROI saying so far?
Engagement: is the sum of likes and comments an account receives.Average engagement rate per post (by followers): measures the level of interactions an account has through the content published, divided by the number of followers, and multiplied by 100, to get a percentage. It is best used when you’re comparing your data with your competitor’s performance.Impressions: refers to the total number of views a piece of content has had. Engagement rate per impressions: reveals how many people liked or commented on your posts from those who watched repeatedly.It is calculated by dividing your engagement to your impressions, then multiplied by 100.Is especially a helpful metric for ads, with which you can see how many times they were displayed in your target’s feed.Median number of likes, comments or saves: midpoint values for likes, comments and saves.Reach: shows to how many people your content was delivered in the feed, counting only the unique values, as opposed to impressions. Average reach rate per post: it reveals how many people interacted with your posts (photo, video, and carousels) from those who have seen your posts aside from your followers. It’s calculated by dividing the engagement of a post to the reach, all multiplied by 100.It is helpful to see the potential virality of a post.You can find the full study here: [STUDY] Social Media Industry Benchmarks
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